An alternator is an oft-overlooked but vitally important piece of equipment in any vehicle. Its job is to keep the car’s battery charged by generating electricity via a turning rotor inside of a metal casing. Generally, a properly functioning alternator will put out between thirteen and eighteen AC volts, which is plenty to keep the battery charged and the electrical systems going. If your alternator has gone bad, you can save labor costs by replacing it yourself following these simple instructions.
Disconnect the Battery
This first step is extremely important in any do-it-yourself vehicle repair. Though this particular project does not directly deal with the battery, the alternator has several wires, one of which will be ‘hot’ - that means it will be electrically live and looking to be grounded. If you do not disconnect the battery before beginning work on the alternator (or any other project in the engine bay), you will likely be in for a big shock.